Rockstar: Timing is perfect for GTAV

Company cofounder Dan Houser explains why new action game is coming to current-gen consoles instead of future platforms.

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With new consoles from Microsoft and Sony reportedly being readied to ship as early as late next year, some may wonder why Rockstar Games is releasing Grand Theft Auto V on current technology instead of future platforms. According to company cofounder Dan Houser, 2013 is a perfect time.

"Rockstar is a content company, not a hardware company," Houser said in the latest issue of Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu (via Polygon). "We use the technology we have to create content, and we try not to let ourselves get beholden to the hardware. The fact that hardware's so mature right now is exactly why we're able to go on to the next level."

Houser added that 2008's Grand Theft Auto IV was Rockstar's first try at development for high-definition visuals, and he called part of this development "seriously difficult." Now, Rockstar understands what the technology is capable of, and the company only stands to benefit, Houser said.

"All the best games for a console come out at the end of the life cycle, right?"

"GTA: San Andreas came out at the peak of the PlayStation 2's cycle, and we put out a really good game thanks to that. All the best games for a console come out at the end of the life cycle, right? So now's the best timing of all," he said.

Rockstar Games has confirmed that GTAV will ship for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 during spring 2013. Preorders for the game opened last week at select retailers in the United States and Europe. The game's second trailer will arrive today.

For more on GTAV, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Discussion

0 comments
spikepigeo
spikepigeo

What he's trying to say is, "More people own current-gen hardware. We'll make more money this way."

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

I'd rather have a solidly built game for aging hardware than a rushed, untested new game for next gen hardware.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

Maybe it's because I came from the time of "Sega does what NintenDON'T" but I really love a good console war, and nearly 10 years is too long of a dry spell.

 

That being said, Rockstar is right, they are going to hit this one out of the park as far as technical acheivments go. I will crap my pants on launch day I just know it.

-HaloHitman-
-HaloHitman-

Rockstar Games has to be one of the best, if not the best game company out there.

razorblad110
razorblad110

Heres one person that doesn't complain with Rockstars tactics, in my eyes, they do not dissapoint

Hey_Jay
Hey_Jay

Good timing, indeed. I've been a little disappointed, lately. We need the rockstars back in the game...

 

... *facepalm* I gotta stop with the lame jokes.

Daian
Daian

It's because of the huge install base of current gen consoles, it can/will sell 8 digits easily, it would be impossible to do that early in a new console cycle on a small install base.

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

San Andreas was overrated.

Vice City was the best GTA game on PS2.

SoNin360
SoNin360

I'm glad Rockstar knows what they're doing. This should easily be what San Andreas was on the PS2.

sodiumpentathol
sodiumpentathol

All I see is that there is no PC version. So to hell with it!

theKSMM
theKSMM

I can remember my amazement that Rockstar was able to get the lowly PS2 hardware to play a game as expansive as GTA: San Andreas.  It was a technological tour de force.  I expect similar results from GTA V.  There may be some "I didn't even think my console could do that!" moments.

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

It makes sense to release it for current gen, they would already have a well established audience for both consoles instead of the fraction of early adopters to the next gen consoles.

 

Still a game like GTA V is certainly a console seller, if it had released on next gen a lot of people would have picked up the new consoles just for GTA V.

SolidTy
SolidTy

Timing is everything. No ****.

 

Every day this week we got new GTA5 news, slowly leaked to the press. Timing is everything.

valium88
valium88

 Timing is perfect for maximum sales which would not be the case at release of a new console people have yet to buy. Releasing a game at the end of the cycle could also make it possible to release a new game in a few years where the graphics is enough to keep it fresh. GTA IV was a new leap in graphics but came at a loss in features introduced in San Andreas. All of that and more is reintroduced in GTA V it seems which is great. Having less features in GTA IV and reintroducing them to GTA V creates a feeling of progress instead of people getting bored. I don't think people will be satisfied if they release an empty game like GTA IV  later next gen though, so hopefully that isn't the case. The new narrative with three protagonists is fresh and a proof of Rockstar innovation, so keep 'em coming but don't get "lazy" again like on GTA IV!

vikebone
vikebone

Translation: There are a lot more people who have current gen consoles than will have next gen consoles next year, which means a lot more sales.

supermoc10
supermoc10

Would be cool if they also released a version optimized for next-gen consoles (kind of like Max settings on PC versions).

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

I refuse to believe that they will make a map even as large as San Andreas' was while maintaining the graphical standard they created in GTA IV. Infact I think it's impossible something like that can be done on eight year old hardware. If it happens, I'll be moreso disappointed that the majority of console developers fail to create groundbreaking advancements like this.

 

My hopes are neutral, that way I'll be pleased no matter what.

s_h_a_d_o
s_h_a_d_o

Finally!

Nice to see acknowledgment of the untapped potential of current hardware capability, rather than the marketing hype which only seeks to separate money from fools.

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

Next year will be the swan song for this generation, looking at the lineup...yep...we are in for a massive final wave :)

g-man_III
g-man_III

i could care less. I'll wait a year to get next gen consoles so i don't get red ring the first day.

orbit991
orbit991

Heh, nice PR bs spin. To translate, were a bit concerned we will be competing with next gen games, but our game will be better because even though it's on an outdated toaster it's at the end of it's life cycle.

 

The game will do great sales wise anyway so they can skip the BS and accept their decision to make it on aged hardware.

Germaximus
Germaximus

Thats really great. And its true the current consoles are still very powerful. Just take a look at games like Uncharted or God of War, incredible graphics.

I'm glad theyre not worried about just waiting for the next console unlike some other companies.

StaticKornSlipX
StaticKornSlipX

R* has great business savvy. Why should a company spend loads of money to make a game for a console in the introduction stage rather than a console in the maturity stage?? Unless the console maker subsidizes the production costs to make a game on a new console...

plaintomato
plaintomato

Spring 2013: "Xbox, RISE FROM YOUR GRAVE!"

UnaSolida
UnaSolida

I would bet everything I own (witch isn't much) that GTA is going back to Vice City on the next gen consoles, probably sometime in late 2015 early 2016.

00J
00J

 @Daian that's the other half of the coin... you nailed it... Put it out now and millions of people will be able to experience what we've been experiencing for years... I can tell you though that I'm getting it on Xbox 360, the PS3 always has so many issues...

Duke_51
Duke_51

 @SoNin360 Oh totally. It looks like GTA V will be to GTA IV just as San Andreas was to GTA III. More over the top, better graphics, and generally just a bigger game all around (both in geographic size and content).

Mega_Skrull
Mega_Skrull

 @theKSMM And I remember when my friends were stupid fanboyish brats that said San Andreas was "bad" cause it had ""bad graphics"... Why did I have to start facepalming so hard at such young ages??

immortality20
immortality20

And I forgot about games like Aliens: Colonial Marines, Metal Gear Revegence, Lost Planet 3, Sly Cooper, Dead Island Riptide, Pikmin 3, Casltevania, Beyond, Deadpool, Fuse, Inustice: Gods Among Us, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, WATCH DOGS. Best. Year. Ever.

MuffintopX
MuffintopX

 @orbit991 I don't think it's a PR spin, but instead a smart move. GTA would never have to worry about competing against anybody on a next gen console, it would be the only game people would buy. I believe they just want to leverage their experience maximize their abilities on current gen since they only made 1 game for it so far. Rockstar is learning, then mastering, learning, then mastering. Once people figure out what the next gens can do, they will come back 3 years into it with a new release. Just my opinions.

never-named
never-named

 @orbit991 That makes absolutely no sense at all! How are they in any less competition in this generation than the coming one?

immortality20
immortality20

 @plaintomato Considering it has the biggest AAA of the year, I doubt it is in any grave. Least mine isn't.

mstrchf12
mstrchf12

 @UnaSolida Considering the size and breadth of GTA V, just having only Vice City in a game would be a step down for the series. Maybe Vice City and other cities too or maybe a whole Florida-esque state with multiple cities would be a more suitable guess.

96augment
96augment

 @00J  Really? What issues did you have with the PS3?

BestJinjo
BestJinjo

 @00J  @sodiumpentathol You don't need a $2K PC to run a game that runs on PS3/360. I am sure if you lowered the graphical settings to 360/PS3 level a $200 HD7870 2GB would run the game just fine. Hopefully they'll port it in 1 year at least. If not, I'll just buy it at the PSN store when I get a PS4 :)

elfi3
elfi3

 @immortality20 You also forgot The Last of Us, Tomb Raider and Bioshock: Infinite 

ziproy
ziproy

Oh come on, do you two really believe what these people have to say.

 

When someone comes up to you bragging about themselves do you automatically believe everything they say??

 

Or do you take what they say with a grain of salt??

 

This is RS bragging about how awesome they are for developing for a dated console cycle instead of actually doing real work

orbit991
orbit991

 @never-named No it makes absolute sense as this game will come out by the time next gen comes out and will be judged and fight for the money against those titles, otherwise they wouldn't even bother making this statement would they?. Last gen will be fairly irrelevant by then so they don't view that as a competitive threat.

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

 @thekingofirony

Oh, I agree. It was critically, and commercially successful. But for some reason some gamers thought it was a disappointment. I, however, thoroughly enjoyed it.

thekingofirony
thekingofirony

 @Scorpion1813 i didn't think it was disappointing.i didn't think it was underrated because its the highest selling GTA game.

jeffmyst2012
jeffmyst2012

 @elfi3  @immortality20 U're missing Rainbow Six patriots also. and metal gear ground zero not sure if 2013 but it will be on ps3,battlefield 4 also on ps3,the last guardian,far cry 3,metro last light,army of to the devil's castel anyway just to say that im sticking easily with my ps3 for 3-4 years because im not gonna buy a ps4 anytime soon. i got my ps3 in 2011 so , so many good games i havent played yet so gonna have alot of fun for still many months and year with my ps3.

MuffintopX
MuffintopX

 @ziproy You could be right, but also remember that it's all Really about the money. When Rockstar says it is "perfect timing" it means that this generation is at its maximum user base, millions and millions of consoles out there. So this is the perfect time to strike big, because it will take years for the same amount of people to buy next gen systems to play a GTA there. They are going to wait until plenty of people have bought next gen consoles so they have somebody to sell to. I'm not sucking on Rockstar's peen, but I do understand why they want to release now instead of next year.

never-named
never-named

 @orbit991 You're absolute surety that next gen systems will be out and boast spectacular launch line-ups by 'Spring 2013' is quite impressive!